Most frequently asked questions
Question 1 – Why do you have so many guinea pigs?
I (Mrs Mason) have always wanted a large herd of guinea pigs. Unfortunately, when Mr Mason and I got together we simply couldn’t afford to own guinea pigs let alone a large herd. Mark promised me that one day, when things were better for us, he would build me something fantastic. He didn’t let me down 🙂 So us owning a larger herd was always going to happen.
Question 2 – How many guinea pigs do you own?
As of February 2022, we currently own 14 males and 102 females. In the main enclosure, 4 neutered males live with the females. That means they do not breed. Our unneutered males live away from the main herd.
Question 4 – Do you worry about birds of prey or other predators when your guinea pigs are freeroaming?
We are so lucky where we currently live that we do not have to worry about these things. We have no large birds of prey or other predators in the area because we’re living on a military camp with an airbase. We also have our two dogs who adore the guinea pigs and sit with them on the garden. Our shed is secured against any vermin – like rats or mice – that could try to find their way inside. They are perfectly safe. However, when the time comes for us to move out of military housing we will have to access the guinea pigs’ ability to freeroam. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.
Question 5 – Why don’t we see the male guinea pigs that live in your home much anymore?
This question makes me very sad because it is something I have absolutely no control over. Unfortunately, as a parent who has separated from the father of her children, I am not the only parent who has a right to say where and when the children appear on the internet. In my case, I have a court order which forbids my children to be on Masons’ Cavies at all. This includes them being heard playing or speaking in the background. As most of my content is done via Live videos, this makes things incredibly awkward for me as the children’s main carer. I try and take as many photos as possible for you. I can only apologise that people miss the male guinea pigs that are living in our home.
Question 6 – Your enclosure has platforms – is this safe?
I completely understand this concern. When guinea pigs are happy they run, jump and popcorn all over the place. We have had platforms in our set-ups for many years now. Only recently (October 2021) have we had a male (Laser, see photo) jump from a lower platform to escape his brother who was bullying him. He landed in the hay and didn’t hurt himself as he bounced softly. On this occasion, the offending male (Smudge) was removed from the enclosure. We don’t want guinea pigs to feel they aren’t safe from other piggies and jump. This is the first time we have ever seen this happen and now that Smudge has been removed, I am confident it won’t happen again.
Guinea pigs are very clever and are very aware how high up they are. This is why we always put new guinea pigs on the floor so they can find the platforms themselves.
Question 7 – Why do you use towels, bath mats and sawdust?
When you keep guinea pigs it’s good to use very absorbent bedding as they pee and poop a lot. We find towels and bath mats do a great job to soak up the pee and contain the smell. We are also currently using woodshavings which are dust-extracted. In the future, we want to move away from it and only use bath mats and towels like we did before we moved house because they can be reused.
Question 8 – Do they smell because you have so many?
It would make sense for the enclosure to smell, wouldn’t it? Lets face it, guinea pigs pee and poop for England! However, Mr Mason and I take great care of the guinea pigs and spot-clean them everyday and deep-clean once every 5-6 days, depending on when it is needed. They certainly don’t smell. A spot-clean can take just over an hour and a deep-clean take 3-4 hours.
Question 9 – How often do you feed hay, nuggets and which vegetables do you feed?
We feed our guinea pigs hay on a daily basis and they also have access to pellets/nuggets every day. They get fed a variety of vegetables and fruits every other day. For example, tomatoes, apples, broccoli, kale, carrots, lettuce, peppers, cucumber, banana and much more.
Question 10 – How do you keep your guinea pigs warm in the winter and cool in the summer?
As you can see in the photo above, the main shed has an industrial air conditioning unit which keeps the temperature inside at a constant comfortable 22°C (71.6°F). In summer it can be adjusted to cooler temperatures in case it gets very warm outside. In general, we have a mild climate in the UK with temperatures rarely dropping below 0°C (32°F) or going above 26°C (78.8°F).
Question 11 – Do you breed and sell your guinea pigs?
All of our boars who live with our sows in the big enclosure are neutered. We don’t sell any guinea pigs as they are ours. However, in the case that we take on a pregnant guinea pig from someone, we decide if we rehome the pups to people who would like to have them.
Question 12 – Do they all have names and do you remember them all?
Yes! Every single guinea pig has a name to go with their unique personality. Mrs M remembers them all but Mr M needs more practice.
Question 13 – How old is your oldest and your youngest guinea pig?
Our oldest guinea pig is around 6 years old and our youngest around 9 weeks.